PSLE Science: 6 Common Mistakes & How to Overcome Them

psle science

2 years back, we wrote a similar article on the common mistakes made by students during their PSLE Science examination. 

Today, we will explore other common mistakes in addition to the few that were mentioned in our 2019 article. We also have PSLE English and Math common mistakes articles written to help our students. 

Read also: PSLE Math: Common mistakes made by students & How To Correct Them

PSLE Science

PSLE Science Exam Format


Booklet Question Type Number of questions Number of marks per question Marks
A MCQ 28 2 56
B Open-Ended 12-13 2-5 44


The duration of the paper is 1 hour 45 minutes. For more information, visit the official MOE PDF 


PSLE Science Topics 

Science is introduced to students when they reach Primary 3. They will study 4 years of Science before sitting for their PSLE Science in Primary 6. 

Here are the topics tested for the PSLE Science 

  • Diversity 
  • Cycles
  • Systems 
  • Interactions 
  • Energy

Common mistakes and how to fix them for PSLE Science 


person writing on white paper

PSLE Science Booklet A: MCQ 

1 – Spending too much time on section A 

It is advisable that students spend less than 45 minutes on section A. This is to ensure that students can focus more time on section B. 

Section B is an open-ended section which means questions are not as straightforward as section A, hence more time might be needed for brainstorming. 

2 – Reading the question too fast or carelessly 

Students may rush through these 28 multiple choice questions and miss out on important points in the question, hence giving the wrong answer. Some questions might be tricky and students will need to pay extra attention to what the question is looking for. 

How to avoid this mistake 

Reading carefully is of course the main solution to this mistake. 

Another way students can check their answers is to ensure that not only is the selected choice correct, but the others are also wrong. 

Students can also return to section A and redo the questions when they are done with the paper and have leftover time for checking. 


person using pencil

PSLE Science Booklet B: Open-Ended questions 

Open-ended questions test students’ understanding and their thinking skills. Hence, a strong foundation for the PSLE science in this section is necessary. 

Here are some common mistakes that PSLE science students make.

1 – Incomplete answers and missing keywords 

This is a very common mistake for PSLE science students, this is also where the majority of the students lose their marks. 

Incomplete answers or missing keywords show the examiner that the student is unclear or has little knowledge on the topic, which leads to losing marks. 

How to avoid this mistake 

Science is a very descriptive subject such that it requires students to know the specific terms in the different topics. Hence, when students first start learning Science topics, it is important they get themselves familiarised with the terms and the definitions. 

Then, students are encouraged to frequently use these words when they are in class or doing practice. These terms are not everyday-use words hence the need for frequent practice. This is so that students have these key terms engrained in their minds and know when to use them in examinations. 

2 – Using the wrong concepts to answer the questions 

Some PSLE science questions may be misleading and trick students into thinking it is asking for topic A when it is actually asking for topic B. 

Ways to avoid this mistake 

Students will need to read the questions carefully and make sure that the concept they have identified is what the question is looking for. 

If there are parts b or c to the question, students can read the entire question first to get a clearer idea of what concept they are testing on. 

Overall, students will need to practice more to become familiar with the questions and learn to identify the concepts tested accurately. To be able to do so, students will need a strong foundation in their basic knowledge. 

At Tutopiya, we ensure our students build a strong base of knowledge in their subjects as foundations are the most important part of learning. As students move to secondary and tertiary education, these basic concepts and foundations are what make or breaks your child’s learning. Hence, it is of utmost importance that every student build a sturdy foundation in every subject, specifically science, where it only continues to be more and more complex. 

3 – Leaving blanks in open-ended questions

It can be demoralizing when met with a question you have no confidence in – however, leaving blank is never the answer! 

It could be a concept you are weak in or lack knowledge in, or you have simply blanked out, you should still never leave blank for your questions. If you never try, you’ll never know. 

The only way to avoid doing this is to prepare and study ahead of time. 

Doing sufficient preparation before the exam helps students with stress and anxiety. Knowing that you are well prepared will calm your nerves and prevent you from spiraling during exams. 

However, in the case where you are well prepared and may have a chance of blanking out, we have some tips to help you curb that.  Free also have PSLE resources that you can enjoy for free.

Blanking out in the examination 

This is also a common issue that happens among students, we all blank out every now and then and forget everything we seem to have learned! 

However, it is important to catch yourself blanking out, right before you panic. When you realise you may have blanked out and forgotten parts of the concept, take a breather, drink a sip of water and skip the question first. 

Revisit the question again when you are done with the remaining questions. 

Another good study tip that students can adopt is to do associative memory 

Such as eating a specific sweet and flavor when you study for a topic. 

Or doing a specific and distinct action. 

This can help when you blank out. When you blank out, try taking the same sweet again or attempt the action. They may help you remember a little if not all the information you have digested. 

To conclude 

In a nutshell, PSLE science is a complex subject that exposes students to new and foreign terms that they do not encounter in their everyday life. 

With Tutopiya and our tutor’s guidance, students will be able to ace their PSLE science like a piece of cake! 

We focus on building a strong foundation in the subject and then developing required skills such as inferential, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills to tackle the PSLE Science. Our tutors are experienced and skilled in the PSLE MOE syllabus, providing students with the guidance and help they need. 


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